West Indies v India, 1st Test, Kingston, 4th day June 23, 2011

Plenty of smoke, but no fire in the Caribbean

West Indies' bowlers put up a fight in Kingston, but the batsmen are doing an injustice to the team's glorious past
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As Shivnarine Chanderpaul lobbed a tame catch to cover, a man named Carlton Christian slumped in his chair in the press box at Sabina Park and buried his face in his palms. Christian is a service provider, an attendant, in the press box. He is tall, well built, and looks like a guy you wouldn't want to run into down one of Kingston's dark alleys. He looks flattened now. His eyes are red; he gets up slowly, walks to the restroom and slams the door shut. When he emerges I ask him whether he is okay. "It's painful man. Sometimes I get very angry. Sometimes I get very disappointed. Can't they play even one day of good Test cricket?"

Surely, after 15 years of watching their team slump from one low to another, West Indian fans would have become comfortably numb, if not downright cynical. Some of them have. Christian, though, isn't one of them, and he isn't alone. "They fought a bit. And so I thought …," he trails off, revealing how his hopes were raised and then quickly punctured.

West Indies did fight in the Test, but only in patches and most often, if not always, the resistance came from the bowlers, with both ball and bat. This pitch wasn't easy to bat on of course and even for India just two specialist batsmen played well but this has been the story of West Indies cricket for a while now.

The best phase for West Indies at Sabina Park came when Fidel Edwards rattled the debutant Virat Kohli with a series of sharp bouncers on the second evening. It was stirring to watch. The ball flew towards the head and ribcage of Kohli, who jumped clumsily and was hit on the forearm once. Kohli's senior partner, Rahul Dravid, walked across to have a word, the fielders moved in, the crowd found their lungs, the transistor crackled in their ears, and there was the buzz of a battle in the air.

It was Edwards again, along with Rampaul and Bishoo, who delayed India's victory on the fourth day, playing gutsy knocks to frustrate the bowlers. Those phases of play were a window into West Indies' glorious cricketing past.

The present, though, cruelly intervened at other moments, reminding everyone of how dire the state of West Indies' batting is these days. The calypso has turned into a dirge. Ramnaresh Sarwan is batting from memory, while Darren Bravo is prone to forgetting the basics at times. Adrian Barath is yet to mature, and Lendl Simmons is yet to learn the art of converting starts. Shivnarine Chanderpaul is now as well known for the strips under his eyes as the excess baggage he carries on his shoulders from his tiffs with the board. Brendan Nash clearly needs more match practice, and Carlton Baugh and Darren Sammy both seem to have plenty of ambition without the skills to match it.

And the mess extends beyond the field of play. Chris Gayle is in the stands, he is at Courtney Walsh's restaurant, he is on the radio, he is at the hair salon, he is in the newspapers, he is in the media releases, he is on Twitter, but he is not where he should be - on the cricket pitch. Sammy's position as captain is constantly questioned. He is asked about why he didn't go to the West Indies Players Association's awards, whether he asked the players not to attend them, whether he is just a puppet of the board, does he fit into the Test XI, can't he score runs, can't he do this, can't he do that? Chanderpaul is asked to meet the board before a Test match. There is plenty of smoke clouding West Indies cricket, but little fire out on the pitch.

Meanwhile, the attitude of the men who brought glory to West Indies cricket in the past ranges from disgust to hopeless acceptance. Richie Richardson, now team manager, unwinds from this mess by playing rhythm guitar. Desmond Haynes, batting consultant to the team, must be tearing his hair out. Another former Test player, now blowing his life away on drugs, says he can't watch this cricket because the "quality is poor". Former Test players reminisce about the old days; nostalgia is a good way to forget the present.

The fans seem almost apologetic. On the third day, when Dravid was approaching his hundred, a section of the crowd turned to say, "Sorry about this lack of fight. Sorry about our cricket."

In 2000, during India's disastrous tour of Australia, Robert Craddock, a journalist, wrote: "Come on India. Get angry. Get aggressive. Shake a leg. Fight back. For goodness sake, do something." It would be unfair to say that sentence applies to the whole of the West Indies team. Their bowlers shook their fists, pounded their legs, and did nearly everything possible to put India under pressure. Even Sammy, a man who has to prove he belongs in Test cricket, took four wickets in the second innings. Edwards, making a comeback having replaced Kemar Roach, breathed aggression. Ravi Rampaul has skill and fight, and Bishoo belongs, and knows that he belongs, at Test level. The bowlers fought hard even with the bat and rarely give up tamely. Russell and Roach did it in the ODIs and now Rampaul and Bishoo in the Tests.

The specialist batsmen, however, let all those efforts dissolve into inconsequence with their indiscipline. Perhaps people overreact when they talk about how poor West Indies cricket is today. But it is only because the past was so great. That is what causes so much sadness. Without the romance of the past, perhaps the present wouldn't hurt as much. However, for the fans who still cling on to hope, for the ex-players who still turn up at games, for the sake of providing a decent contest, it's time the West Indies batsmen shook a leg and did something.

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on June 26, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    Dravid has shown us why he is a GREAT batter. At 38yrs of age, he is still winning matches for India. A great batsman wins matches for his team consistently. He makes runs when others fail. Great cricketers win matches with the bat or the ball. S/times we bat to win, s/times we bowl to win. The last test we had to bat to win & our stars let us down, as they have been doing for the past 10 yrs. And so the Board has decided to rebuild, at any cost. THE tailenders showed us that the wicket had no devil, yet SHIV & SARS couldn,t give us 50 runs each. India won by 63 runs.Should we criticize Sammy or the Board? U tell me!

  • on June 26, 2011, 17:41 GMT

    I donno weather anyone noticed it or not. dravid has become the highest run getter against West Indies in West Indies.

  • shakeal on June 26, 2011, 12:16 GMT

    The concept of batting has changed so much that that a spinner who bowls with containing line and yet attack are more successful than the one turn more and gives more air,though Bhajji made his overall contribution so did Mishra but bowled average to say the least,Bhajji can't be called India's # 1 spinner secondly with India's top order not in for the tests I think Murali Vijay would have been given chance to play in one dayers to find his feat , Indian opening batting looks least secure , exposing Dravid in every game is never a good idea, Laxman is a late starter and second inning hero for all seasons means Indian have to be careful coz Dhoni ,Raina never are different batsmen in tests , Kohli will take little time to get in , once he is in, he will be as good as anyone in the world, all he require is one good inning of 78/80 , over all not a convincing victory , it was more of victory handed over than achieved

  • on June 26, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    You are unfair on WI batsman. They put up a good fight in the second innings against the canny Praveen Kumar and Ishant. They took care of Mishra and Bajji on a turning wicket. What about the bowlers who got India off the hook in the first and second innings after clearing up the top order?

  • gloriouscricket on June 25, 2011, 22:37 GMT

    West Indies surrendered the first test to INDIA at Sabina Park after showing what the future holds; Troubled is We need them now. The game is being played in the moment--here and now.Barath, Bravo,Simmons & Baugh to play every ball on it,s merit.Leadership is needed from the senior players on the team, you are obligated to set the winning "SPIRIT" on the field,not just Sammy. Rampaul, Roach, Bishoo, Edwards,have performed admirable with bat & ball;On the other hand Sarwan, Nash Chanders must lift their game.Surely the selectors must be looking to make changes to put a balance 11 on the field,Sarwan and Nash--seemed to be really out of form--Respectively Marlon Samuels and Kemar Roach seems likely to return--specialist batsman and bowler, also WI need to get a report from Greenidge re: Ramdin,s progress or lack of.Gayle and Benn,s status need to be dealt with by players and board--they still have playing years ahead of them.Goodluck WI-- you can win.

  • engmov on June 25, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    is'nt it irony that dhoni and bcci r criticizing the poor umpiring decision based on the tv replays,which they in the first instance don't believe r accurate.so why crib and accept that the umpiring decision is correct and tv replays incorrect.or get in line with other countries who have accepted the udrs,and stop cribbing.

  • Aussasinator on June 25, 2011, 6:37 GMT

    I am one of those who'd like to see the West Indians rise and rule once again. The batting has to fall into place quickly. The reason why I like the team is their spirit. They are true sportsmen, who play with a smile and enjoy their game. The most dreaded fast bowlers of WI were alll good sportsmen who never sledged. They didnt need sledging - nor did they need favourable umpires, like the Aussies always needed both. Just Chris Gayle coming back now should be adequate to win them a Test against India.

  • everfaithful77 on June 25, 2011, 5:49 GMT

    RUSSELL MUST COME IN FOR NASH IN ORDER FOR WEST INDIES TO WIN IN BARBADOS. Nash is way short on runs this season; he had problems with Pakistan spin and now Indian spin. It therefore makes sense to OMIT Nash from 13 selected for 2nd test and bring in Andre Russell who HITS THE DECK HARD and brings the ball back into right-handers. He also provides a 5th bowling option and is ideally suited for the BOUNCY WICKET at Kensington. He bowls a lively fast-medium in the mid to high 80's(mph) and will provide some of the" FIRE" the writer claims was lacking. He's a HOSTILE & AGRESSIVE fast bowler who will put FEAR in the hearts of Indian batsmen. His inclusion will not WEAKEN but actually STRENGTHEN our batting in light of the FRAGILITY of our TOP ORDER batsmen. I was shocked he was not included in the 1st test after his OUTSTANDING MATCH-WINNING PERFORMANCES in the ODI's because the result would have been different. ROACH is LOW on confidence so RUSSELL is a better option for 2nd test.

  • donda on June 24, 2011, 19:30 GMT

    Day dreamers never get successful. WI need to come out of dreams and use current resources properly. Simple example, WI is currently fighting against their best batsman Gayle over an IPL stint and some statements. Bravo is also excluded from the team. Teams win by match winning players not like so called okay players like Sammy and more. But it takes to much time to regroup a team and if you push hard on great player like Chanderpaul he will not perform to . Give respect to your good players and they will perform. Sarwan seems to be a dead batsman and may be it is due to the coach of WI. Who knows. There are lots of problems in WI and they need to solve them.

  • SRT_GENIUS on June 24, 2011, 19:03 GMT

    If Sammy is not a puppet of the board, he is the greatest allrounder ever. Sir Garfield, take a bow.

  • on June 26, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    Dravid has shown us why he is a GREAT batter. At 38yrs of age, he is still winning matches for India. A great batsman wins matches for his team consistently. He makes runs when others fail. Great cricketers win matches with the bat or the ball. S/times we bat to win, s/times we bowl to win. The last test we had to bat to win & our stars let us down, as they have been doing for the past 10 yrs. And so the Board has decided to rebuild, at any cost. THE tailenders showed us that the wicket had no devil, yet SHIV & SARS couldn,t give us 50 runs each. India won by 63 runs.Should we criticize Sammy or the Board? U tell me!

  • on June 26, 2011, 17:41 GMT

    I donno weather anyone noticed it or not. dravid has become the highest run getter against West Indies in West Indies.

  • shakeal on June 26, 2011, 12:16 GMT

    The concept of batting has changed so much that that a spinner who bowls with containing line and yet attack are more successful than the one turn more and gives more air,though Bhajji made his overall contribution so did Mishra but bowled average to say the least,Bhajji can't be called India's # 1 spinner secondly with India's top order not in for the tests I think Murali Vijay would have been given chance to play in one dayers to find his feat , Indian opening batting looks least secure , exposing Dravid in every game is never a good idea, Laxman is a late starter and second inning hero for all seasons means Indian have to be careful coz Dhoni ,Raina never are different batsmen in tests , Kohli will take little time to get in , once he is in, he will be as good as anyone in the world, all he require is one good inning of 78/80 , over all not a convincing victory , it was more of victory handed over than achieved

  • on June 26, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    You are unfair on WI batsman. They put up a good fight in the second innings against the canny Praveen Kumar and Ishant. They took care of Mishra and Bajji on a turning wicket. What about the bowlers who got India off the hook in the first and second innings after clearing up the top order?

  • gloriouscricket on June 25, 2011, 22:37 GMT

    West Indies surrendered the first test to INDIA at Sabina Park after showing what the future holds; Troubled is We need them now. The game is being played in the moment--here and now.Barath, Bravo,Simmons & Baugh to play every ball on it,s merit.Leadership is needed from the senior players on the team, you are obligated to set the winning "SPIRIT" on the field,not just Sammy. Rampaul, Roach, Bishoo, Edwards,have performed admirable with bat & ball;On the other hand Sarwan, Nash Chanders must lift their game.Surely the selectors must be looking to make changes to put a balance 11 on the field,Sarwan and Nash--seemed to be really out of form--Respectively Marlon Samuels and Kemar Roach seems likely to return--specialist batsman and bowler, also WI need to get a report from Greenidge re: Ramdin,s progress or lack of.Gayle and Benn,s status need to be dealt with by players and board--they still have playing years ahead of them.Goodluck WI-- you can win.

  • engmov on June 25, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    is'nt it irony that dhoni and bcci r criticizing the poor umpiring decision based on the tv replays,which they in the first instance don't believe r accurate.so why crib and accept that the umpiring decision is correct and tv replays incorrect.or get in line with other countries who have accepted the udrs,and stop cribbing.

  • Aussasinator on June 25, 2011, 6:37 GMT

    I am one of those who'd like to see the West Indians rise and rule once again. The batting has to fall into place quickly. The reason why I like the team is their spirit. They are true sportsmen, who play with a smile and enjoy their game. The most dreaded fast bowlers of WI were alll good sportsmen who never sledged. They didnt need sledging - nor did they need favourable umpires, like the Aussies always needed both. Just Chris Gayle coming back now should be adequate to win them a Test against India.

  • everfaithful77 on June 25, 2011, 5:49 GMT

    RUSSELL MUST COME IN FOR NASH IN ORDER FOR WEST INDIES TO WIN IN BARBADOS. Nash is way short on runs this season; he had problems with Pakistan spin and now Indian spin. It therefore makes sense to OMIT Nash from 13 selected for 2nd test and bring in Andre Russell who HITS THE DECK HARD and brings the ball back into right-handers. He also provides a 5th bowling option and is ideally suited for the BOUNCY WICKET at Kensington. He bowls a lively fast-medium in the mid to high 80's(mph) and will provide some of the" FIRE" the writer claims was lacking. He's a HOSTILE & AGRESSIVE fast bowler who will put FEAR in the hearts of Indian batsmen. His inclusion will not WEAKEN but actually STRENGTHEN our batting in light of the FRAGILITY of our TOP ORDER batsmen. I was shocked he was not included in the 1st test after his OUTSTANDING MATCH-WINNING PERFORMANCES in the ODI's because the result would have been different. ROACH is LOW on confidence so RUSSELL is a better option for 2nd test.

  • donda on June 24, 2011, 19:30 GMT

    Day dreamers never get successful. WI need to come out of dreams and use current resources properly. Simple example, WI is currently fighting against their best batsman Gayle over an IPL stint and some statements. Bravo is also excluded from the team. Teams win by match winning players not like so called okay players like Sammy and more. But it takes to much time to regroup a team and if you push hard on great player like Chanderpaul he will not perform to . Give respect to your good players and they will perform. Sarwan seems to be a dead batsman and may be it is due to the coach of WI. Who knows. There are lots of problems in WI and they need to solve them.

  • SRT_GENIUS on June 24, 2011, 19:03 GMT

    If Sammy is not a puppet of the board, he is the greatest allrounder ever. Sir Garfield, take a bow.

  • US_Indian on June 24, 2011, 16:56 GMT

    Well I am an Indian, but I have been a fan of WI since i was a kid, i have watched the team under CliveL loyd play and later under different captains. May be you cannot match the likes of the 3 W's, Rowe,Kanhai,Sobers,Hall, Griffith, who i havent seen in action but i have seen Fredricks,Greenidge, Haynes,Richards, Richardson, Hooper,Murray,Dujon, Gomes,Kallicharan and Gibbs, Juilian, Boyce, Holder,Holding,Roberts,Marshall, Ambrose, Croft, Garner, Patterson, Walsh, Bishop etc etc. But this team has talent no second opinion about that, the likes of Rampaul, Edwards, Roach, Russell, Bishoo, Benn and guys like Gayle, Barath, Simmons,Bravo Brothers,Sarwan what they lack is a co-ercive unit, proper backing of the board. They need to be handled with great care and someone with great man management skills should be appointed as Coach who can fine tune their talent and make them mentally strong, provide the team with a secured feeling and back them up , believe me you will see the results.

  • Jim1207 on June 24, 2011, 16:03 GMT

    Easir Arafat, Correct but it would be plenty of smoke and no fire when the fire goes off and everything becomes smoke. That's what it means - they need fire.

  • Secunderabadi on June 24, 2011, 15:16 GMT

    Why was it so difficult to eliminate the last WI pair. Indian spinners were not effective at all. TV commentators spoke about Bishoo as not par with Bajji or Misra but Bishoo picked up 7 wickets as compared to 7 by the pair. Another 20 more runs by WI and the Indians would have become desperate and crumbled under pressure. The last innings score was the highest of all the 4.

  • moko58 on June 24, 2011, 14:41 GMT

    The West Indians have played very well in patches over the last 2 one dayers and the first test. There were several brilliant individual performances in them. They also have Gayle in the background. It is just a matter of clicking as a team.

  • cccteam on June 24, 2011, 14:25 GMT

    I am a fan of the West Indies team.They are in the process of rebuilding.I guess the issue is with the batsmen unable to bat for long hours.Batsmen like Bravo and Bharat are highly talented.If Gayle is back then it makes the batting stronger.Its a question of batting for long hours.Also Sammy could learn to bowl faster.He has the physique for it.

  • on June 24, 2011, 14:20 GMT

    Good article. And I say, give Sammy a break- he has actually been one of their more successful bowlers this season. The problem of course is the batting. I do agree with those calling for more consistent selection: less in and out would be better. That's why Sammy needs to stay for a while longer (Chanderpaul too). Nonetheless, Nash doesn't have much time left... Beyond all of this, there were still positives. Few people have noted that Windies 4th innings was the highest innings of the match, and also their highest international score (Test or ODI) of the season (post-WC). 63 runs is also not a bad margin- losing is always bad, but they certainly did not get blown away. 10 odd more runs each by their top order would have won them the game! As for Gayle- his performance in the IPL was certainly impressive, and I wish he had been able to rejoin the Windies quickly to carry forward that form. But let's also not forget all the times he has let the team down... We need an anchor opener.

  • cricdick on June 24, 2011, 14:16 GMT

    No one is gloating. True Dravid got a life before he started, but then how can we blame the Indians ? This is cricket. Raina & Harbhajan were given out wrongly who gave India 146 runs in the first innings. Pls let us take the game as a game.

  • avis1001 on June 24, 2011, 14:05 GMT

    It is really big wish for the fans of WI to think their team to be as of 70s and 80s as it is very very difficult to get such people.

  • ulmo on June 24, 2011, 14:00 GMT

    @Stos.. what I would like Windies do is to do what Australia did 84 - 87.. Pick a bunch of talented youngster. .Back Sammy to the hilt.. and say its ok doesnt matter if you loose.. So long as you are learning.. Have a stable captain a stable coach.. and a core team.. give them confidence.. the only way they will loose the fear of loosing is if they know they can take risks and if it doesnt work out they wont be canned.. let them learn .. I dont think in any other profession you have people wanting you to be sacked for one mistake.. We make mistakes all the time.. and we learn... I still have hope for the Windies.. the bowling is starting to look good again.. they need some time.. and people need to have some patience.. the problem they have right now.. is everyone expects them to jump back to 1989.. thats going to take time..

  • on June 24, 2011, 13:58 GMT

    Technical mistake - you can't have a smoke without a fire.

  • kitten on June 24, 2011, 13:42 GMT

    'In my opinion India should not GLOAT because were it not for that dropped catch of Dravid we would have won.' What this writer and others fail to comprehend, is that India got three bad decisions(Dhoni, Kohli and Misra) in the second innings, and as Dhoni said, if it wasn't for these, we would have been back in the hotel much earlier. Secondly, India is also fielding a weakened team without seniors like Sehwag, Gambir, Tendi, Yuvraj, and Zaheer, and three debutants. So they were in the same position as the WI. We don't need excuses, because all things being equal, India would have won by a canter. Let's be honest, the Indian team performed better on the day, and deserved to win. When a player plays badly, many people say he played badly, very little credit is give to the opposite player who Made him play badly. However, all said and done, this WI team has certainly got talent, and will definitely make improvements. We should support them, not criticize them mercillously.

  • on June 24, 2011, 13:36 GMT

    I am an Indian fan, but always loved the way the way the West Indies played their cricket and considered them to be my second team. I know that the West Indian fans especially the older ones were very passionate about their cricket. So I feel very sad for them. Who can forget the great Viv Richards striding out to bat head held high chewing gum. or the late great Malcolm Marshall batting and bowling one handed after breaking a finger against England or Brian Lara twice breaking the world record. Who can forget Gordon Grenidge, Haynes, Clive Lloyd , Holding, croft, Roberts, Ambrose and Walsh. It seems what every team the West Indies puts out at the moment either lacks the will to win or is fundamentally flawed. I think it is time to look at the basic structure of West Indies Cricket and plan for the future. World cricket cannot afford to have a weak West Indies team. It is time for the ICC and even the BCCI to make it financially viable for kid to take up the game

  • drtrinileggie on June 24, 2011, 13:32 GMT

    Sammy is a good leader what results has he gotten.

    He cant make a club side. why should we leave him alone he is the cauise of the lack of balance in this squad!!!!!!!

    WICB are a bunch of stubborn small islander illiterates just like their puppet captain.

    baugh is there because his is a better bat rubbish.

    Waht the point of good regional seasons if you do not pick the performers

    ramdin.

  • on June 24, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    West Indies lost the match on the first day when because of poor captaincy/absence of another bowler(Roach) to finish off the team 86-6 letting a part time allrounder Harbagan Singh get 70 runs was not acceptable. Catches win matches ...well Sammy's dropped catch cost 106 runs. Look at Bishoo's catch to dismiss Harbagan in the first innings...it brought back West Indies into the game. west Indies are a bowler short ...changes Roach in for Nash, Samuels in for Baugh Simmins should keep wicket. Note how captaincy is important....note Dhoni's field placings to get rid of Barath, Sarwan, Baugh, Chanderpaul in the 2nd innings. Let's also get an umpire who is competent...Harper should umpire in the IPL only.

  • ramps_wi on June 24, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    Gibson says he wants all the detractors to leave Sammy alone because he takes wicket, I really want to know if he could of backed a mediocre player while working with the ECB. The major problem right now is that the fans are not happy with the team selection, the WICB and therefore its like it very good when they fail because we hope it will bring in the changes. Drop Sammy and Baugh, bring in Taylor, gayle, Ramdin and replace Nash with Ganga. WICB and selectors please give the fans want they want, the fans will then supportive and less critical and the legends will be come alive.

  • on June 24, 2011, 13:16 GMT

    @Indianzen Don't just talk rubbish. Have you seen the statistics of Ranji matches of Abimanyu mithun and Vinay Kumar. They are far better than Tamilnadu bowlers. You are wrong, they didnt got many matches in Int team, STOP TALKING NONSENSE.

  • Kothandaram on June 24, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    well written article. all said and done, West Indies cricket is in a mess becoz of their own people. the selectors need to think of developing the game... and put egos behind. get Gayle back into the team... the sooner the rot is stopped, the better for WI cricket and world cricket...

  • rkannancrown on June 24, 2011, 12:19 GMT

    WICB has complicated matters. Chnaderpaul is the sole proven test batsman in this side. sarwan is playing badly and, on current form, should be dropped. Bringing in Gayle for sarwan is the correct thing but maybe Samuels can also be tried out. One issue the windies need to look at is to play Chanderpaul at no3. He can drop anchor and will be more useful than to come in at no.5 with nash the only batsman to follow. the bowling looks promising with Bishoo looking impressive - he has wickets against pakistan & india who are good players of spin. Sammy may lack pace but he has a good strike rate and that is what eventually matters.

  • suzyparker on June 24, 2011, 12:17 GMT

    Years ago the WI would play tests in Feb, March and April. Now they play in May, June and July on the same pitches that have been used for months. The squares on these grounds look like dust bowls. Thats why they are slow and thats why WI struggle to bowl teams out. They have a good attack but have served up a wicket at Sabina to suit the Indians. In addition, at least Sammy has a bit of guts and cares for his team unlike Gayle who would rather play IPL and strut around like some hard done-by Peacock.

  • NRI- on June 24, 2011, 12:12 GMT

    Dear Indianzen,

    Rohit Sharma averages over 60 in first class cricket - much higher than M Vijay or Raina and yet has not made his test debut yet. Mithun for your information has, like Praveen Kumar done very well in first class cricket ON INDIAN pitches. Mithun was only played in SL where pitches are fast bowlers' graveyards. Rohit was ahead in the queue when Saha played instead as a batsman!!, he was ahead of Pujara, Raina and Vijay.

  • JohnSM on June 24, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    @People who have commented negatively on Sammy:

    Sure Sammy doesn't have the talent that WI cricket is famous for, but he has his heart in the right place, and is really doing the best he can with the limited resources at his disposal. When the seniors have backed away from captaincy and nobody really wants to be the fall guy in such a hostile climate for WI cricket, this man isn't cribbing, he's in fact, backing his players at every turn and putting his best foot forward (Talent wise not much, agreed, but he's doing SOMETHING!) at every step.

    Respect to the man. He has heart. He has grit. It's time people realized that. What would be wonderful for cricket is if he actually managed to pull a win against this Indian team, although that seems quite unlikely. Nevertheless, the man is fighting his heart out there. Show some respect people, thanks! :)

  • VivGilchrist on June 24, 2011, 11:45 GMT

    PLEASE I wish some of you would stop giving us your suggested WI XIs. Some of them make no sense, are extremely island bias, or just lack balance. One person named Benn ahead of Bishoo (what?), Another suggested Sarwan as captain (he averages 9.5 this year), people keep calling for Sammys head but he keeps taking wickets. Russell, yes a talent is not a genuine all-rounder and can't take a batsmans spot in the top 6. If he plays he is primarily a bowler. What WI need is a Haddin, Sangakarra, or DeVilliers with the gloves and then options in team balance will open up to them.

  • on June 24, 2011, 11:32 GMT

    Enough really is enough now. I'm not sure what it is he has done but there is too much negative stuff flooding the grape vine about Gibson for it all to be false. And if he is the unnamed official that Michael Holding was referring to that said if Gayle comes back, he's (Gibson) gone, then so be it. And Sammy thank you for the service, you were put in a difficult position and have tried manfully but the next person you need to drop is yourself.

  • wkkl on June 24, 2011, 11:31 GMT

    sammy is a good leader all of u blaming him u r wrong,leave him alone,he is a good bowler n fielder if chris gayle was the captain we couldnt win every game,u should blame some of d batsmen.nash keeps dissapointing us and simmons isnt fit 4 test only 1day n t20 not test.bravo keep on 4getting d basics.sarwan probably tired on everytime they leave everything on chanderpaul n d lower order.the top order need 2 put on good runs

  • delastbastion on June 24, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    sarwan 184,nash 164,baugh 134,sammy 143 these are the total number of balls faced by these batsmen in 6 test innings for the season thus far, rampaul 190 in 6 and roach 238 in 4 have faced more balls,this is too poor to support........no talk of building .........ring the changes.

  • drtrinileggie on June 24, 2011, 11:19 GMT

    Why is SAMMY AND BAUGH IN THIS SQUAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • murli786 on June 24, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    I have been watching cricket since the mid 70's and each time India looses, it would hurt me. I used to listen to radio commentary wherein Richards, LLoyd and the other batsman used to massacre our bowlers. And our batsman when it came to bat would be hurt with the bouncers from their pace force. I will never forget Bedi's declaration and i wondered how cruel this game could be. Now when the Windies and the others get it from India, the wheel has turned the full circle for me. I am happy that we are able to set the records straight even though it is still favoring the strong teams. I guess its time for India and my country men to celebrate. The party began on 13 March 2001 at Kolkotta when VVS & Dravid thwarted the Aussie attack and came back from the dead. Join the party and witness our surge.

  • on June 24, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    The fact of the matter is catches win matches. When I saw Sammy drop Dravid, I said to myself the West Indies team was going to pay dearly and so said so done. The West Indies demanded a bouncy pitch, they got one and struggled on it. It does not matter which pitch they get it makes little difference. The way they set getting the 326 runs to win was as if they were playing T20 and they had two days to get the runs. They need to bat with discipline. They way I see they have lost the test series.

  • kingcobra85 on June 24, 2011, 10:35 GMT

    is harbhajan singh playing as a batsemen in Indian team ? when WI spinner takes 7 wickets in a match and your spinner gets to bowl in the 4th innings in the test match and couldnt get the NO.11 out then you know harbhajan has some serious issues.

    Dhoni had to bring raina on to get the last wicket.

  • indianzen on June 24, 2011, 10:14 GMT

    WI is a land of phase bowlers... Better they bring back pace bowlers like Taylor and move the spinners away... Edwards and Rampaul are bad selection for test cricket. Players like Sarwan, Chanders are the real people who can be trusted upon...

  • indianzen on June 24, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    I think its too much criticism on Vijay, just becoz he is a south Indian? when Rohit sharma was given so many chances for ODIs, when Gambir was given so many chances during his Debut, when Abimanyu mithun and Vinay Kumar are in the squad without any decent performances, why not Vijay and Badrinath ?

  • CandidIndian on June 24, 2011, 9:39 GMT

    Its funny that people are using lots of ifs and buts ,someone is even calling Indian victory as fortunate one.The reality is that India is without Sehwag, Gambhir, Sachin, Zak and Sreesanth still WI could not beat them, also India got wrong decisions of Raina ,Dhoni and Bhajji .Its actually WI who were fortunate that they just lost by 63 runs.I am not saying that WI dont have talent, they have very talented players for sure but one should accept the fact that they crumble under any sort of pressure,that's why they lose the plot after being in great positions.Even in world cup WI were in good positions in matches against SA,England and India but gave up the advantage eventually.In the recent ODI series how well they played when pressure was off after losing the series.Its just that India handled the pressure much better and hence they won.Only wrong thing India did in this match is not accepting UDRS,which almost proved costly.

  • on June 24, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    The WICB selectors bring imbalance to the team. They are incapable of picking a well balanced team and I blame their lack of competence to the the fact that they themselves were incapable of playing at the highest level as well as intellectual competence. Heres what a balanced team is: Bharath, Simmons, Sarwan, Darren Bravo, Samuels, Ramdhin, Russell, Rampaul, Edwards, Roach, Bishsoo. You have there, Pace, Spin, genuine alrounder(Russel)Good openers, competent wkeeper/batsman, strong middle order. Sarwan should captain the team. Gayle is not in the team because of his lack of leadership skills and when you are building a team you want leaders who can positively influence.

  • crazyworldthis on June 24, 2011, 9:18 GMT

    I say, pick 8 bowlers, C.baugh, L.simmons and A.Barath. You win, easy

  • lijihas on June 24, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    INDIA can win plenty of matches with dravid and laxman( if the rest of the seniors are rested or injured)..... BUT THE BIG FACT... that INDIA cannot win test matches with out dravid laxman against top ranked teams dhoni,raina,murali vijay,badri all are flat track bullies in tests....eg :1st test IND vs SA in india last year.... INDIA WILL REMAIN NO 1 AS LONG AS THESE TWO KEY PLAYERS AVAIL...

  • on June 24, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    YES, THE QUALITY OF CRICKET PLAYED IN THE CARIBBEAN HAS DECLINED OVER THE YEARS. The past was glorious & present is disgusting . Surely they have talent Simmons,the opener,Barath, Bravo, Bishoo they all have it. They did not require Gayle, atleast to win this test, had Chanderpaul, Sarvan played upto their reputation. On Gayle, i am with West Indian board . They can win without Gayle. Its only a matter of feeling confident & being patient. Not to do silly things, not to get carried away. Indian board sud also do same to IPL players. Who wasted 63 day in club cricket, then said no to Glorious Test cricket. If they need time for family they sud say no to IPL or retire from test cricket, plenty of talented youngster r waiting. SRT specially sud think about retirement or leave club cricket. After all its Test or ODI cricket which has made him an icon, not only in India but all over the world. If he does not want to play for nation he sud retire, this will do a world of good for the game.

  • krishnak007 on June 24, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    We can criticise this WI team as much as we can, but till they get the right team on the ground they wont put up a show - leave alone winning. No wonder the stands are empty to see the world no 1 side and a fiercely talented bunch of cricketers. In my opinion the team has to be: Gayle, Barath, Darren Bravo, Chanderpaul, Dwayne Bravo, Darren Thomas (the fiesty wk they got for the World Cup), Andre Russell, Bishoo, Edwards and Rampaul. Simmons, Benn and Sarwan making up the 14.

  • Baundele on June 24, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    WI's performance should be evaluated as a team, not as bowlers or batsmen. In fact, WI batsmen also did a very good job in the 4th innings; it was the highest score among the all 4 innings in the test. There is no need to mention the glorious past (and which is a long way in the past) every time we talk about WI cricket. That creates extra pressure on the heavily mis-managed players. I rather praise the players for showing the fight against the #1 team in spite of the WICB making their lives a hell.

  • on June 24, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    come on guys West indies have a good side if the player like Gayle, Roach, Brendon Taylor,shiv, swarwan, sammy and other guys gets play. I don't know why these guys are not playing regularly...

  • spiritwithin on June 24, 2011, 8:52 GMT

    @Stouffer..u r very quick to point out that WI were playing with 3.5bowlers but forgetting the fact even pravin kumar was not allowed to bowl after taking 3wickets in the 1st innings,u r quick to point out that WI has batsman who'r either struggling or new to test cricket but forget the fact that india was also playing three debutants,and their batsman like laxman,dhoni also struggled in both the innings..@ARIF3011..u r saying that the 9th wicket parnership b/w mishra & dravid saved india the match but what about 10th wicket 40 run partnership by bishoo & edward and 35run partnership for 9th wicket?? did'nt it saved WI from humiliation?see from both sides

  • AjayVijayan on June 24, 2011, 8:48 GMT

    First of all kudos to Rampaul, Fidel and Bishoo on keeping a tight leash on Indian batsmen who are new to Test Matches. I think people should not be worried by the performance of India by not winning in an emphatic manner. I think this is an ideal platform for the transition period, a hostile pitch with pace and uneven bounce, couple of quality bowling and spin bowling from WI. For the likes of Mukund, Vijay, Kohli, Raina this would be ideal proposition and for Indian and MSD, since the oppostion is not a great team, the possibility of loss is just 1% even before a ball is bowled, but the hostile pitch well used by WI bowlers made them teach what Test Match is all about.Its not the IPL bashing, you need talent, skill, patience to win session by session. For a team comprising Vijay,Mukund,Raina,Kohli,Praveen,Ishanth,Mishra (7 newbies to Testmatch) this is good win for rebuilding a team which would happen in a period of 2 to 3 years.

  • ste13 on June 24, 2011, 8:39 GMT

    Spot on article, but the difference between the two teams was not that big. So we had an entertaining game. India should stick with young guys, who have to learn, as Dravid will not be there forever. Why WIndies should find replacement to Nash and Sarwan

  • rienzied on June 24, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    Sammy SHOULD NOT PLAY. He is not worthy of his place. An Attack of Rampaul, Roacha nd Edwards, has a much better balance without Sammy. If they get Dwayne in he too will be a class act. And PLEASE tell me why Ramdhin is not in the team. It is shameful that Sammy is the captain. Sarwan who looked so unhappy would be better of as the leader. Gayle missing , well Windies can bleed Simmons into the team.

  • everfaithful77 on June 24, 2011, 8:28 GMT

    I agree with the writer that the batsmen let the Windies down: 1. SIMMONS does not appear to have the right temperament or technique for test cricket especially in defence and shot selection. 2. SARWAN looked unfocussed and had two failures in this match and vs Pakistan. 3. CHANDERPAUL lacked match practice 4. Nash lacked match practice and is not comfortible to spin. BRAVO, BAUGH needs some work on their batting and SAMMY needs to stick around a bit longer by better shot selection after getting a start. BARATH was the only batsman that was focussed and up to the task and offcourse the tail batted beautifully. I was extremely pleased to see the AGGRESSIVE West-Indian style batting in the second innings. If we had batted this way in the 1st inn when we were much too DEFENSIVE the result could have been different. In my opinion India should not GLOAT because were it not for that dropped catch of Dravid we would have won. Changes: RUSSELL for Nash; SAMUELS for Sarwan; GAYLE for Simmons.

  • Sonamt on June 24, 2011, 8:28 GMT

    It's sad to watch this West Indies team. Having grown up following Clive Lloyd & Viv Richards' teams, the current situation is shocking. I am tempted to say the current side is the weakest test side I've ever seen. Zimbabwe at their worst had more fight, Bangladesh more talent. With this in mind, we should be asking a few questions about the Indians. Without Harbajhan's calculated slogging in the first innings, they would surely have lost. People can point to missing players - Tendulkar, Sehwag, Zaheer - but those very players, along with VVS & Dravid, will all most likely be gone in a couple of years. I expect a strong performance from India this year but, beyond that, the future doesn't look rosy at all.

  • shayad on June 24, 2011, 8:27 GMT

    Best 11 CH Gayle DS Smith RR Sarwan S Chanderpaul DJ Bravo MN Samuels D Ramdin DJG Sammy SJ Benn FH Edwards JE Taylor

  • enigma12345 on June 24, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    C.Gayle,R.Sarwan,Darren Bravo,Marlon Samuels,S.Chanderpaul, KAM Corbin(WK),A.Russel F.Edwards,D. Sammy,K.Roach,D.Bishoo...

  • CricketMaan on June 24, 2011, 7:31 GMT

    There are a lot who say SAMMY is a liablity, but he took wickets may be not at the right time, but he did..What did Shiv, Sarwan do? Lets take Sammy out, the who is capable of leading this team? Gayle doesnt want to, Sarwan failed, Shiv is old..then who..Mr.Hillarie?..Sammy is brave, he has put himself on the firing line and shows character..he may not be as talented as a Captain should be, but he is doing a job..

  • Stos on June 24, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    @Ulmo: Sammy actually seems to bring it up in the press conferences fairly often, in a half-guilty and half-self-deprecating manner. I like the guy's mentality. Given that he's fairly hard-working, and seems to have a fair amount of ability, I suspect that with some more experience in the middle he could become a pretty good batsman as well, so long as he sticks to playing aggressively like here rather than trying to slow down due to public pressure to get a high score immediately. @Priyakumar: I don't think that it was suicidal, and WI certainly showed that they were capable of matching India's score in their second innings. Really, WI have a solid batting lineup, it's more a matter of them getting some games to gel and getting used to playing together.

  • ARIF3011 on June 24, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    India wins by 63 runs!!! Wow. Thanks to that second innings' 56-runs 9th wicket partnership between Rahul Dravid and Amit Mishra! Results would have been different otherwise. Well said somewhere with regards to this match: "Bowlers fight, Batsmen surrender" - on both sides. Mr. Mahi has to pull up his socks. Windies had comeback from behind in ODI series and took last two matches. This can happen again soon.

  • Stouffer on June 24, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    Priyankumar, do you think that West Indies would have a better chance of beating India on a flat track??? If it wasn't for Dravid getting his hundred they might have won this game. This with essentially 3.5 bowlers, and a series of batsmen either out of form or very new to test cricket. Not a bad effort overall. However, if i were a WI fan I'd be wondering whether Roach might have done better than Sammy...

  • cricsavvy on June 24, 2011, 6:03 GMT

    What are the former WI greats doing about this?

  • on June 24, 2011, 5:49 GMT

    indian bowlers are never given credit for praveen did'nt let dhoni miss zaheer he is exactly the same as zaheer swinging ball all the time and keep it wicket to wicket thts why he got wickets ishant ever since ipl looked like picking wickets he knows he needs to be fast to pick wickets unlike zaheer or praveen even he got 6! mishra and bhajji need to improve but not a big issue they are class acts

  • khurramsch on June 24, 2011, 5:46 GMT

    Dravid made a ton & by far the best batsman in match BUT i think indian victory was coz of harbahajan. India won by 63 runs. 1st inings lead was 73. partnership of 145 between raina & singh was 145 from which bhajhan made 70 runs so i think this victory is mainly becoz of sings effort.

  • KAIRAVA on June 24, 2011, 5:44 GMT

    India has never won in Barbados which used to have the fastest pitch in the West Indies. In recent times, the pitch seems to have flattened out a bit but it still hosts the 2nd fastest pitch in the Caribbean behind Sabina Park. So, I feel the Windies should pack themselves with genuine fast bowlers in the playing XI for the next test as the majority of the Indian batsmen are still finding it tough with pace and bounce. Roach, Fidel Edwards, Rampaul are my fast bowlers for the next match. Nash seems to have problem with quality spin and has not past 30 runs in his last 3 tests. He surely has to be dropped & ought to be replaced by the exciting all rounder Andre Russell who is in great form. Baugh is also off colour and should also be replaced by Ramdin who has reeled off a 100 and four 50s in consecutive matches for T&T in the latest domestic first class matches. Also, he made a huge 166 against England at the same venue in 2009. Gayle if selected should replace one of Simmons/Sarwan.

  • sohaibahmad on June 24, 2011, 5:36 GMT

    do whatever, get Gayle back on the track, Gayle,Barath,Simmons,Samuels, Chanderpaul,Bravo,Ramdin,Rusell,Rampaul,Bishoo,Edwards(Roach,Taylor)

  • Bruce_Johnson on June 24, 2011, 5:30 GMT

    India has shown again in this test match why it is by far the best cricket team in the world. More important than the victory itself is the manner in which India has achieved it. Harbhajan Singh and Suresh Raina's fighting 7th wicket 134-run partnership, Dravid's determined 2nd innings century, Indian bowlers' complete domination over the West Indian batsman -- are all hallmarks of greatness and testimonies of this mighty Indian team's never-say-die attitude. And this victory was achieved without five senior Indian players playing -- Tendulkar, Sehwag, Gambhir, Yuvraj and Zaheer -- just goes to show how strong the Indian reserve players are.

  • Notredam on June 24, 2011, 5:19 GMT

    Among captains who have led in at least 25 Tests, MS Dhoni has the best win-loss ratio (5.00). He is followed by Steve Waugh (4.55) and Mike Brearley (4.50). Dhoni has now led in five away-Test wins bringing him joint-second on the list of Indian captains with most wins in away Tests.

  • Farce-Follower on June 24, 2011, 5:07 GMT

    Actually, if not for Dravid's epic, nothing to choose between both teams as far as batting is concerned. India's openers are woeful. Murali Vijay knows that he will be a default opener for the next 20 years, whenever someone develops a niggle.

  • Vindaliew on June 24, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    WI got 262, but how much of that was due to tailenders playing out of their skins and punching above their weights? Sriram is spot on - if only one specialist batsman stood up and did a Dravid (or even a Gomes, Logie, Adams or Chanderpaul) WI would have won this comfortably. It wouldn't hurt so much if the tail folded without a fight after Chanderpaul fell, but to see them fight so hard and to watch Nash and Baugh struggle while Sammy, Rampaul, Edwards and Bishoo brought WI so close was just heartbreaking. The bowlers deserve better, and in them I see hope for WI cricket. Imagine Rampaul, Edwards, Roach forcing batsmen onto the backfoot, Sammy bowling a straight line just waiting for the batsman to make a mistake, Bishoo probing and tying down one end.. it's just mouthwatering... AND they can all bat, or at least have the stomach for batting.

  • CricketChat on June 24, 2011, 4:34 GMT

    WI should replace Sarwan, Nash, Shiv and Bravo for the rest of series. They promised so much but delivered so little. One of Roach or Russel should come in, even at the expense of a batsman. May be a WK who can score few runs would help as well. If they can prepare same kind of pitches for next two Tests, WI are definitely in with a chance as Ind batting appears shaky (except for Dravid) despite their fortunate win in Ist test.

  • Randy_Wilson on June 24, 2011, 4:31 GMT

    @ VivGilchrist LoL nice one. Unfortunately people DONT See this. if we go and left out Sarwan and Nash. and then go on losing the Tes Match. Then the public will Shout out at the WICB again saying Sarwan and Nash the two more EXPERIENCE player should be playing. and we will be back to same story, then they come back in and failed again. This was what WICB was tryign to do, trying to get younger Cricket or the one who have been performing in Domestic Cricket a chance to play. C Gayle will also be like Sarwan and Nash. Gayle is a Man who Scores Alto of run and then the rest of Series. Dont score any good runs. Also when ya really need him he don't delivery. Example of what i mean His last tour 300+ run and the rest of series nothing to offer.

  • sanjeevmukherjee2006 on June 24, 2011, 4:24 GMT

    instead of criticizing WI we must encourage them to improve their skills. Well if you have roach, jerome taylor, fidel edwards and rampaul add bishoo to it you have probably the best bowling line up in the world, sammy can chip in too. It is the batting which is the concern. Sarwan and chanders have somehow lost their touch i feel sometimes they are lost in their own world. Simmons and Barath should make efforts to convert 50-60 into 100 same applies to bravo. Nash well he seems out of sort. anyways all the best WI...

  • on June 24, 2011, 4:19 GMT

    Get gayle, russel and marlon samuels back in the team

  • landl47 on June 24, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    West Indies got the highest innings of the match and only lost against the #1 side in test cricket by 63 runs. That's not a debacle by any means. India, this is your future a year or two from now, when Tendulkar, Zaheer, Laxman and Dravid (man of the match here) have retired. You won't be the top side then- you'll be like West Indies now. Get ready for a tough time in England this summer.

  • cricology on June 24, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    @MSU_BULLDOG ----- I completely agree with you. Cricket is indeed dying. Once Adam Gilchrist famously said, "I wish cricket to spread to all parts of the world such that one day France plays a test match with Itlay in Rome." Alas! Let alone Europe playing cricket, the existing countries are struggling. One reason I think is the game itself. Everyone likes to see 'quality' game. Unfortunately cricket's most quality game is test cricket which is very long and now doesn't seem to fit in modern life. The spectators are still of 1970-80-90s era who have seen test cricket evolving with quality players. In years new generation will stop watching tests which inturn wud seriously hamper tests future.

    I am glad and fortunate to witness the last league of great test players like Tendulkar, Ponting, Kallis, Lara, Dravid, Murli, Warne, Laxman, Mcgrath, Akram etc. I have grown up in India and loved just one sport. But I never knew that the game's future was so dark.

    Anyways congrats India !!!!

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on June 24, 2011, 4:12 GMT

    @cheese86, I just didn't have enough space to talk comparitively in my previous post. Kallis is awesome. Probably the best cricketer of all time. But taking batting alone, I think Kallis lacks the soft hands of Dravid and he might go hard at balls outside off-stump leading to a catch in slips whereas for the same ball with the softer hands of Dravid, the catch might go on one bounce to the slips. Just my thoughts. No disrespect to the great man Kallis. For me he is the best cricketer of all time. No disrespect to Ponting or Sachin or Lara - all of them do not have the soft hands of Dravid. From where I'm sitting, Dravid is the benchmark for technical superiority.

  • RaiseTheBar on June 24, 2011, 4:02 GMT

    After reading most of the comments one would think WI in their losing effort (effort none the less) are coming out of some winning streak. That team has been losing for years now! With talents such as Lara, Shiv, Sarwan & Gayle at captain the team has seen its worse years. If "talent" (talent being batting) was what it took to lead a team to VICTORY then WI would have won with all these talented batsman at the helm! Gayle being touted as the savior for this team is a joke! Yes he's good enough to bat on any team, but he lacks the leadership (motivation and application) necessary to inspire WI to a string of consistent victories. Sammy is definitely not the most talented BATTER but he's consistently the hardest worker. His bowlers are following. The batsmen lack discipline (ref. Lara/Gayle era). Current team can rotate 6-8 bowlers who will contribute 100+ runs. Sammy at cap is good for team! Once spots 1 to 5 the in batting lineup in settled, WI will be in world top 3 over next 1-5yrs.

  • on June 24, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    Take nothing away from the Indian team; they won because they were the team who played better cricket. If WI intend to win home matches we must play our best players, prepare better pitches, research our opponents and know our own strengths and weaknesses. All four above points have not been heeded.

  • on June 24, 2011, 3:46 GMT

    Playing against a strong batting side against India on a bowler friendly wicket is suicidal. Gone are those days when teams used to prepare bowler friendly wickets for India and enjoyed the advantage. Now teams around the world have realized their folly and have turned instead to mostly batsmen friendly wickets against India. The bowler friendly conditions in Sabina Park suited India more than Windies. Their bowlers were quite effective and their batsmen stuck to their task. Considering the conditions, our batsmen, though not all of them, did very well. Hope Windies take out a lesson from this match.

  • cheese86 on June 24, 2011, 3:26 GMT

    @dravid_gravitas, nothing for jaques kallis as the best technique in the world??

  • amit4cricket on June 24, 2011, 3:13 GMT

    I reckon.. its time to see beyond M. Vijay.. Drop him to play domestic and let him fight for his position in Indian Team... No doubt he is a good cricketer but he still need to improvise..

  • MSU_BULLDOG on June 24, 2011, 2:54 GMT

    In a few years the only countries that will still be playing cricket will be India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangla Desh. Some how cricket is still attractive in these countries. People talk about all the problems with the WI board etc - but do they really have the talent to compete at the highest level? The kids there are moving on to other sports. The only people who are still interested there seem to be people of Indian origin. I think we are seeing a real decline in Australia. New Zealand was never great and will probably never be. England has been OK. When I was a kid I could pretty much tell all the big names in every English County team. Does anyone care about that any more in or outside England? In SA there is probably some interest as they are back competing at the international level rather recently. Zimbabwe cricket is probably over.

    I am a die hard cricket fan and I play and watch a lot of cricket but I am sorry to say Cricket is a dying sport in the rest of the world.

  • on June 24, 2011, 2:43 GMT

    Hey this a really well written article. With lots of emotions. ..As a Cricket lover, I desperately want West Indies to sort out their problems and be the team once again everyone feared. This coming from an Indian fan might sound a little awry but I really want them to do well at Test level. Best of luck

  • on June 24, 2011, 2:15 GMT

    west indies is a toothless lion who has grown old that can not give enough fight to slow starters team india

  • ulmo on June 24, 2011, 2:07 GMT

    Sriram I think a little harsh on Windies second innings batting effort. 262 was the highest score in all four innings. India apart from Raina, Dravid and Harbhajan in the first innings and Dravid in the second struggled. Sammy must really regret the dropped catch of Dravid. How Indian fortunes have changed since we used to watch cricket in CR Park :)

    Hari

  • VivGilchrist on June 24, 2011, 2:06 GMT

    2011- Sarwan 57runs av9.5, Nash 54runs av9, Rampaul 116runs av29. Tell me who is the batsman here?

  • Metman on June 24, 2011, 1:27 GMT

    Continuing,....Baugh must get his chances too,like Ramdin.Sammy has at least 2 more matches for the WI,and the tail?? is here to stay !Barath has promise,but still see some flaws .Remember this attack that dismissed the WI twice was essentially Indias' second string attack,that also put Simmons out of his misery too in the first innings, Mr.Ian Bishop !Russell is not yet ready for test cricket !and Dwayne Bravo,yu asked for a rest,now yu got the rest !Enough of yr committment to OUR cricket.I can see now,all of Baughs' detractors are slowly crawling out of the woodwork to say something in support of Ramdin again,as though it is ' if not Baugh then it is back to Ramdin',and using the pharse,that he is' the best gloveman in the west'.Dowritch,Walton,Thomas and Kyle Corbin are up and coming keepers,all younger than Ramdin,and must be given an opportunity yo see if they can better Ramdins' failures in his 5 or 6 consecutive or so yrs in WI cricket.

  • on June 24, 2011, 0:50 GMT

    Given they were missing Gayle and so much was going on, the Windies did extremely well. No clue how the author thinks 262 in the fourth innings is a bad batting performance. Even on a normal test wicket that's by no means surrender. India were the better side but not by all that much. Also, I don't think Barath was immature at all. His strategy was on the money in the second innings. If he'd succeeded for a few more overs theyd have had a real chance of winning this match. Seems like we were watching different matches! Windies, bring back Chris Gayle!!!

  • NRI- on June 24, 2011, 0:46 GMT

    Kitten, not sure if the two bouncers per over rule is actually applied differently to tailenders; Rampaul's glare is all part of the game - him letting Sharma know that he can do the same to him. WI has a great attack now - Rampaul, Edwards and Bishoo are international class and if they sack medium pacer Sammy so that they can include Jerome Taylor, that attack of 4 would equal or better Australia's and is already better than or as good as India's. England when they have Tremlett, Anderson, Bresnan and Swann is probably the best in the world. Batting, of course, is WI's weakness - they need Gayle back (test avg touching 40) but even so with Chanderpaul aging, there is not a single world class batsman for test cricket albeit Gayle is as good as any in ODI's and 20/20. By the way, M. Vijay couldn't even play Zimbabwe & Bangla medium pacers in ODI's why do they persist with him? CAN ANY READER TELL ME THIS? Even Dinesh Karthik opened better than him on that Zimbabwe tour.

  • AvidCricFan on June 24, 2011, 0:32 GMT

    India at best scratched through this victory. Their inexperienced new crop was woefully out of sorts. Dhoni has time again proved to be poor performer on a bouncy track. It was the old guard Dravid who helped pull India. VVS also was completely out of touch and a liability on the field. He got a free ride in this game.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on June 23, 2011, 23:42 GMT

    Well done Sriram. But I would like to point out that batsmen from both the teams played similarly. I don't find fault with the batsmen of either teams. Dravid, The Legend is the only difference between the two teams. Rest all is even stevens. I hope people understand that the West Indies batsmen didn't do a bad job at all on that landmine. This is a bowlers paradise and all the batsmen of a lesser pedigree tried their best. Make a better predictable pitch, remove Dravid early in his next four innings and West Indies will be in contention very easily. This is not the best Indian Team by any stretch of imagination. That pitch is for some rare kind of batsmen and Dravid is the only such Legend in the world right now. There is no batsman who can match his superior technical brilliance. Add his intense application and high levels of concentration. I guess, Windies have just invited trouble by enticing and challenging Dravid onto that uneven pitch.

  • on June 23, 2011, 23:40 GMT

    Sad, so sad to see the West Indies reduced to this, After Sobers,Richards, Lara we have Nash, Sammy and Simmons.

  • MasterClass on June 23, 2011, 23:35 GMT

    WI should forget the specialist batsmen and play a team of bowlers and all-rounders! Collectively they may only make 200 odd, but will likely knock-over the opposition for 150! Ultimately that's all that's necessary for wining: Take 20 wickets and score more runs than the opposition.

  • on June 23, 2011, 23:10 GMT

    Excellent article by Mr Veera, Poor attitude and lack of focus contributed to their batting failure. In the next test, Sarwan should be dropped, since he has too much inconsistencies in his batting. He is unsure about his shot selections and playa with desperation. Nash is another who seems to be lost in the wilderness. Preferably replace them with Gayle and Dwayne Bravo. There must be a place for Roach to match with Edwards. I have no problem with Sammy as captain, he is actually trying very hard, albeit all those criticisms pounding his brain. Some people mentioned Ganga as captain, bot this guy had his chance and he was miserable with the bat.

  • Shaynej on June 23, 2011, 22:55 GMT

    Putting aside the congenital naysayers aside, there's nothing so bad in this Windies team. For everyone shouting about Gayle's absence, there is nothing to show that he would have made a difference between the two team on a rough pitch like this - he's no Dravid, and never has been.

    The biggest problem facing this Windies team is a woefully out of form middle-order. Between Sarwan, Bravo, Chanders and Nash, they can hardly buy a run (let alone a decent 50) between them. A team can carry 1-2 out of form batsman - 4 middle-order bats who can't bat themselves back into form is too much.

    Why not replace Nash or Chanders with Andre Russell? You'll never know whether Russell is Test-class or not without giving him a decent run in the team, and he'll give Sammy another bowling option. Including Russell along with Rampaul, Edwards and Bishoo means a very decent attack, backed up with Sammy - and they should be able to target 3-4 of India's newer and shakier batsmen effectively.

  • dragline on June 23, 2011, 22:36 GMT

    i hope the selectors will take the bull by the horn and give Nash a rest and bring in Russell. i hope the matter with gayle be reolved quickly and that he will be available for the second text match. team; Galye, Barath, Darren Bravo, Sarwan, Samuels, Bough, Russell, Sammy, Rampual, Bishoo, and Edwards.

  • on June 23, 2011, 22:26 GMT

    i would like this team: Gayle, Barath, Sarwan, Lil Bravo, Chanderpaul, Samuels, Simmons/Ramdin, Russel, Rampaul, Bishoo, Edwards. (If simmons want to make the team he's got to make the sacrifice and work on his keeping. keeping in test match isn't easy but people have done it before with hard work. De Villers, Alec Stwert....simmons is young, atheletic and got good reflexes he can learn. If not ramdhin over baugh anyday

  • kitten on June 23, 2011, 22:22 GMT

    Great article. I just would like to be enlightened by some of your readers regarding bowling bouncers. As stated and seen in this match, Edwards peppered Kohli with lots of bouncers, and was never given a warning like was given to Ishant against Rampaul after bowling only one! And also when Ishant produced a great ball which reared at Rampaul and he just managed to glove it to Dhoni, he(Rampaul) was very upset and started gesticulating in protest. However, rightly so, the decision stood. Could someone let me know what are the rules regarding bouncers? I am confused at the moment. Great victory for India though, considering they are playing with Sehwag, Gambir, Tendi and Zaheer. Kudos to them.

  • CRICKET-FAN-USA on June 23, 2011, 22:14 GMT

    Coach Ottis Gibson is irritated becoz people are asking him about Sammy?? He should know one thing - because of fans like us there are sponsors! because of fans like us, they are getting paid. If there are no fans, then no sponsors and no coach and no cricket in Carribbean!! He is responsible for the team's selection and partially responsible for Sammy's selection into the playing 11. He better answer all our questions!!

  • neilyb on June 23, 2011, 22:10 GMT

    Mr Veera, another very well observed and well written article, it is a privilage to read such well observed and insiteful articles. As a long time WI cricket fan it pains me to see some of these performances.... so much talent, so little direction. Something is preventing WI cricket from really competing for the full length of a game.It seems to me that the burden of off field antics is creating disharmony within the players, seemingly resulting in a group of individuals turning up, rather than a team. Address all the offf field issues truthfully, and thenmaybe WI can produce TEAM that will play and back up the undoubted talent available.

  • on June 23, 2011, 22:10 GMT

    the team WI has right now has in it some talented players,what i think is they just lack focus and passion, Sammy to me isnt as good as some of the others,but to me he has more passion for the game than all the other combined. WI can move on from here with 1 plus,they bowled well, battin to me is what let them down big time.. Us Caribbean ppl need to see our team play good cricket,they won't always win but just play good cricket,try to outplay the other teams... the WI team of 15 years ago,was just that, a team of 15 years ago,stop living in the past,seems thats what everyone's doing....... its getting annoying for me especial to hear commentators always talking about "BACK THEN"....... goodluck in the next match guys

  • on June 23, 2011, 22:06 GMT

    What seems a little lost in all of this is that batting fourth, on a minefield, West Indies managed to make the highest score of the match. Frail teams that are not up for a fight don't do that against the number one test team in the world. Remember how Australia would win tests humiliating the other side. Ishant's no Mcgrath and Mishra is certainly no Warne but this is the bowling attack the best test team in the world put up so kudos for the 262. Sadly, the gap in the rankings and on the ground is too high. Kohli, Raina, Laxman, Dhoni are too good to all go without big runs for two tests in a row. The Indian batsmen underperformed and they'll be hurting, make no mistake about that. The Windies might be hurting a little more but I'm not sure they have the skill reservoir to fall back on individually. Still, be glad Zaheer, Sachin, Sehwag and Gambhir are not playing. It lets this contest retain some semblance of an actual contest. Time to truly dominate though.

  • on June 23, 2011, 22:03 GMT

    The players just aren't 100% fully focused on the cricket at the moment. Too many issues going on off the field. The best opening bat out of the side unjustly for speaking the truth, the best batsmen the side has had since Lara retired being treated with no respect and loyalty by the coach, board and selectors (Shiv), Sarwan being messed about by the selectors and according to Gayle, particularly the coach, Nash is suffering from the lack of planning from the selectors in the preparation for this series; he has had no competitive cricket since the Pakistan series, a captain who is not even worth his place in the side and a coach who has managed in his tenure as West Indies coach to somehow worsen the performances of the team, and create severe dividing lines amongst the squad.

  • CRICKET-FAN-USA on June 23, 2011, 22:03 GMT

    Well written article.

    I'm not from WI; I'm a cricket fan who fell in love with cricket after watching Brian Lara, Richardson, Ambrose, Ian Bishop, Walsh, et. al. I may offend a few people, but truth hurts. Sarwan & Nash should be dropped; if they think they can contribute to WI, let them go back to domestic and score heavily. Even Sachin Tendulkar needs to prove his fitness and form before getting into Indian playing 11. Don't think Simmons is a test player. Bravo needs to iron out his techniques - poking around outside off for spinners, moving across the stump too much, etc. Barath is excellent - he can play like Shewaq or Dravid!

    Carlton Baugh - his glove work is good; nowadays keepers are having a batting average of 50s. he needs to improve his batting skills. or try some other keeper. This is one of the reason that the WI lower is so fragile. No one down the order to guide the lower order.

    Bishoo, Rampaul & Edwards are bowling well; Sammy can only be a 5th bowler.

  • lyl67 on June 23, 2011, 21:59 GMT

    I agree with this article in entirety. West Indies selectors is a big joke. Where are their brains?If West Indies had selected Russell or Roach for Sammy, Ramdin for Baugh and Samuels for Nash they would have a better chance of winning.

    The Gayle saga continues afterall we should in the beusiness of playing to win matches and not behaving like children.

    The CEO of the WIPA and WICB are both to blame fot the current situation.

  • on June 23, 2011, 21:48 GMT

    Good article!!... I have seen cricket from the times of ambrose and walsh... the pride and passion with which they played is still etched in my memory... a strong windies team is good for world cricket.... hope the current team finds its passion...

  • WTEH on June 23, 2011, 21:47 GMT

    WI cricket need a change, a whole new make over. The board, selection committee, coach, captain.. all need to change. It is obvious the current guys cannot generate results. Time to move on. Get a overseas coach perhaps. Do something man!!! Otherwise soon ICC has to decide the fate of WI test status.

  • NCassie on June 23, 2011, 21:39 GMT

    2nd Test Squad should be: Gayle, Barath, Simmons, Sarwan, Chanders, Ramdin, Sammy, Rampaul, Fidel, Roach and Bishoo. With this team there is enough batting and enough support bowling from Gayle, Sammy and play 4 main bowlers, if the wicket is slow play Martin instead of Roach and this mix should do the WIN to level the series.

  • on June 23, 2011, 21:37 GMT

    Brilliant piece sriram. Lot of efforts seen in dis piece. What a pity state of game for mighty a cricketing nation. I just hope d state of dis sport improves or cricket may breath its last in d carribean in years to come. WI batsman should show some sort of application in d coming tests. Hope d Indian team is made to strive for success than giving away easy win. WI should go hard at d Indians. Keep up d good work. Kudos !!!!

  • NCassie on June 23, 2011, 21:32 GMT

    West Indian supporters are getting really fustrated now, it is really difficult supporting this team when we all know the talent is there but not all of the best players are representing the region. Captaincy is the one problem, Sammy shouldn't have that role right now he is playing only as a bowler, days for bowlers that cannot bat is history, not good enough, Rampaul and Fidel's batting has improved one can see the effort from them, but for captain, there is little or none from him. Baugh looks like a total dunce with the bat, his effort when batting is also POOR. Sarwan and Nash are not helping so the batting is really the major problem right now. Would the WI management open your eyes and fix the dam problem, bring back Gayle, try Russel and call up Ramdin for WI sake PLEASE!

  • Mayfield on June 23, 2011, 21:15 GMT

    WI lack of another bowler who can unsettled the batsmen was evident in this match. India would not have reached their first inning total if WI had another bowler, pace or spin, that could trouble the batsmen. As for the batsmen, adversity should teach them a lesson or maybe they need to study top batsmen to understand how to construct an innings. I feel sorry for Sammy, he has been put in a horrible position. He himself must know that he does not merit a place in this team. I place the blame squarely on the shoulders of the selectors.

  • dravid_rules on June 23, 2011, 21:13 GMT

    Actually, THIS West Indies team is not that that far behind THIS Indian team. I think the major mistakes here are selectorial, more than anything else. Replace Simmons with Gayle, Sammy with Roach and shoehorn a Russell in somewhere, maybe in place of Sarwan and you have a fighting team.

    Now, look on the other side. THIS Indian team has been carried by Dravid. So, going by that, lot of changes are needed. Openers, some middle-order and maybe even the spin department. Now, look at the personnel at India's disposal in this series. Who can they turn to? Parthiv? Ashwin? I don't think so.

    Victory, and the poor WI unit, is papering over a lot of the Indian frailties. Laxi had better find form fast while Dravid keeps his otherwise, even here, even now, disaster lurks for India.

    Given the current WI unit, this victory was not as emphatic as needed to be for India.

  • WestIndies1987 on June 23, 2011, 21:09 GMT

    The headline on the front page is so TRUE! The batsmen FAILED badly again! Apparently the WI bowlers are expected to take wickets AND make the runs too. Barath,Bravo,Sarwan,Chanders,Nash all GAVE their wicket away and had they bat even 25% better WI could have won the match.I hope to see MAJOR changes for the 2nd test like Nash, Baugh and PRAY TO GOD SAMMY being dropped(even I know this won't happen). I say WI bring in Dwayne Bravo/Braitwaite for Nash, Ramdin for Baugh and Roach/Taylor for Sammy.

  • hazeltine on June 23, 2011, 21:06 GMT

    Unless the analysis of WIndian commentators and writers begin to tell it the way it is,and stop glossing over their deficiencies, we are never going to develope. We lost the first test against India on the first day. We had them 86-6, Harbajan plays a few shots and the bowlers go to pieces, bowling too short particularly Edwards and of all people, Sammy when he must know that he does not have the pace. That they batted badly in the first innings was to be expected as their footwork against pace or spin is non existent. Incredibly, instead of learning from the Indian example of bowling, they kept on bowling short again when it cried out for them to pitch it up. Anyone who has followed WIndies for the last 15 years knew we had no chance of getting those runs in the second innings. Everybody knows the problem is the WICB who don't care what happens to WIndies cricket as long as they can play their politics, they should just come out and say so.

  • SettingSun on June 23, 2011, 20:52 GMT

    Best article I've read on Cricinfo this year. Great stuff.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • SettingSun on June 23, 2011, 20:52 GMT

    Best article I've read on Cricinfo this year. Great stuff.

  • hazeltine on June 23, 2011, 21:06 GMT

    Unless the analysis of WIndian commentators and writers begin to tell it the way it is,and stop glossing over their deficiencies, we are never going to develope. We lost the first test against India on the first day. We had them 86-6, Harbajan plays a few shots and the bowlers go to pieces, bowling too short particularly Edwards and of all people, Sammy when he must know that he does not have the pace. That they batted badly in the first innings was to be expected as their footwork against pace or spin is non existent. Incredibly, instead of learning from the Indian example of bowling, they kept on bowling short again when it cried out for them to pitch it up. Anyone who has followed WIndies for the last 15 years knew we had no chance of getting those runs in the second innings. Everybody knows the problem is the WICB who don't care what happens to WIndies cricket as long as they can play their politics, they should just come out and say so.

  • WestIndies1987 on June 23, 2011, 21:09 GMT

    The headline on the front page is so TRUE! The batsmen FAILED badly again! Apparently the WI bowlers are expected to take wickets AND make the runs too. Barath,Bravo,Sarwan,Chanders,Nash all GAVE their wicket away and had they bat even 25% better WI could have won the match.I hope to see MAJOR changes for the 2nd test like Nash, Baugh and PRAY TO GOD SAMMY being dropped(even I know this won't happen). I say WI bring in Dwayne Bravo/Braitwaite for Nash, Ramdin for Baugh and Roach/Taylor for Sammy.

  • dravid_rules on June 23, 2011, 21:13 GMT

    Actually, THIS West Indies team is not that that far behind THIS Indian team. I think the major mistakes here are selectorial, more than anything else. Replace Simmons with Gayle, Sammy with Roach and shoehorn a Russell in somewhere, maybe in place of Sarwan and you have a fighting team.

    Now, look on the other side. THIS Indian team has been carried by Dravid. So, going by that, lot of changes are needed. Openers, some middle-order and maybe even the spin department. Now, look at the personnel at India's disposal in this series. Who can they turn to? Parthiv? Ashwin? I don't think so.

    Victory, and the poor WI unit, is papering over a lot of the Indian frailties. Laxi had better find form fast while Dravid keeps his otherwise, even here, even now, disaster lurks for India.

    Given the current WI unit, this victory was not as emphatic as needed to be for India.

  • Mayfield on June 23, 2011, 21:15 GMT

    WI lack of another bowler who can unsettled the batsmen was evident in this match. India would not have reached their first inning total if WI had another bowler, pace or spin, that could trouble the batsmen. As for the batsmen, adversity should teach them a lesson or maybe they need to study top batsmen to understand how to construct an innings. I feel sorry for Sammy, he has been put in a horrible position. He himself must know that he does not merit a place in this team. I place the blame squarely on the shoulders of the selectors.

  • NCassie on June 23, 2011, 21:32 GMT

    West Indian supporters are getting really fustrated now, it is really difficult supporting this team when we all know the talent is there but not all of the best players are representing the region. Captaincy is the one problem, Sammy shouldn't have that role right now he is playing only as a bowler, days for bowlers that cannot bat is history, not good enough, Rampaul and Fidel's batting has improved one can see the effort from them, but for captain, there is little or none from him. Baugh looks like a total dunce with the bat, his effort when batting is also POOR. Sarwan and Nash are not helping so the batting is really the major problem right now. Would the WI management open your eyes and fix the dam problem, bring back Gayle, try Russel and call up Ramdin for WI sake PLEASE!

  • on June 23, 2011, 21:37 GMT

    Brilliant piece sriram. Lot of efforts seen in dis piece. What a pity state of game for mighty a cricketing nation. I just hope d state of dis sport improves or cricket may breath its last in d carribean in years to come. WI batsman should show some sort of application in d coming tests. Hope d Indian team is made to strive for success than giving away easy win. WI should go hard at d Indians. Keep up d good work. Kudos !!!!

  • NCassie on June 23, 2011, 21:39 GMT

    2nd Test Squad should be: Gayle, Barath, Simmons, Sarwan, Chanders, Ramdin, Sammy, Rampaul, Fidel, Roach and Bishoo. With this team there is enough batting and enough support bowling from Gayle, Sammy and play 4 main bowlers, if the wicket is slow play Martin instead of Roach and this mix should do the WIN to level the series.

  • WTEH on June 23, 2011, 21:47 GMT

    WI cricket need a change, a whole new make over. The board, selection committee, coach, captain.. all need to change. It is obvious the current guys cannot generate results. Time to move on. Get a overseas coach perhaps. Do something man!!! Otherwise soon ICC has to decide the fate of WI test status.

  • on June 23, 2011, 21:48 GMT

    Good article!!... I have seen cricket from the times of ambrose and walsh... the pride and passion with which they played is still etched in my memory... a strong windies team is good for world cricket.... hope the current team finds its passion...